Modeling near-field tsunami observations to improve finite-fault slip models for the 11 March 2011 Tohoku earthquake

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Abstract

[1] The massive tsunami generated by the 11 March 2011 Tohoku earthquake (Mw 9.0) was widely recorded by GPS buoys, wave gauges, and ocean bottom pressure sensors around the source. Numerous inversions for finite-fault slip time histories have been performed using seismic and/or geodetic observations, yielding generally consistent patterns of large co-seismic slip offshore near the hypocenter and/or up-dip near the trench, where estimated peak slip is ∼60 m. Modeling the tsunami generation and near-field wave processes using two detailed rupture models obtained from either teleseismic P waves or high-rate GPS recordings in Japan allows evaluation of how well the finite-fault models account for the regional tsunami data. By determining sensitivity of the tsunami calculations to rupture model features, we determine model modifications that improve the fit to the diverse tsunami data while retaining the fit to the seismic and geodetic observations.

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